Former Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid striker Nicolas Anelka is back in football as he joined Eredivisie side Roda JC Kerkrade as a consultant

Nicolas Anelka is back in European football after a gap of three years. The former journeyman striker, who has played for European heavyweights like Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid has joined Eredivisie strugglers Roda JC Kerkrade, the club announced in an official statement.

Nicolas Anelka had one eventful career in football, as he travelled across Europe for sixteen years before his journeying life as a striker took him to Asia, finally hanging up his boots in 2015 after a stint in the Indian Super League.

The 37-year-old started his career with Paris Saint-Germain in 1996, when he made his debut as a prodigious 17-year-old who was one of the most highly rated young strikers in world football. After a one-year stint in the French capital, Anelka kicked on his career as a journeyman football as he joined Arsenal in 1997.

Since then, he played for eleven other clubs, including European gianst like Real Madrid, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain again, Manchester City, Chelsea and Juventus, scoring a total of 202 goals in 631 appearances in his club career.

Anelka's last bit in football saw him play and manage Mumbai City FC in 2015. (Photo courtesy - Punit Paranpe/AFP/Getty Images)
Anelka’s last bit in football saw him play and manage Mumbai City FC in 2015. (Photo courtesy – Punit Paranpe/AFP/Getty Images)

In national colours, Anelka enjoyed a twelve-year career with France, netting 14 times in 69 games. His last contribution in football saw him join Indian Super League side in 2014, lasting two seasons with the club, scoring twice in 13 appearances.

And now, Anelka is back in football, but in a completely new role as he has joined Roda JC Kerkrade, who are currently 17th in the Eredivisie table, as a consultant. Anelka’s appointment is part of the club’s project under new co-club owner Aleksei Korotaev.

The Swiss investor has promised to invest in the first-team and youth academy, with one of his first actions being the signing of the 37-year-old. Anelka will work with the club’s football academy and has already played a key role in the acquisition of French midfielder Lyes Houri on loan from Bastia.

The club’s technical director was ecstatic as he discussed the appointment of Anelka, as he said that the addition of the Frenchman represents the start of an exciting new era for the Dutch strugglers.

He said: “When I was I met Nicolas in Dubai and I have conversations with him about football. I immediately had the idea that I not only had to deal with a former football player, but also someone who has a very interesting idea about football in general.

“We are proud that we can add someone of his caliber to our organization. We will now discuss with Aleksei Korotaev how we are going to give precise details on his role.”

Roda JC are currently in the relegation zone, sitting second from bottom in the Eredivisie table having won just two games all season. They would now be hoping that Anelka can bring his experience of over twenty years to guide the club into a successful new era.

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